July 25, 2024


Simply The Best Food

Yasmin Fahr’s recipes for one-pan dinners | Food

6 min read

Persian-style salmon kebabs with potatoes and shirazi salad (pictured above)

Saffron is expensive, but my mum taught me a trick of grinding it into a powder, then mixing it with water so that the threads dissolve. This means a little will go a long way, and still add that beautiful colour and taste. I know that, technically, these are not kebabs because they are not skewered, but if you wish, you can skewer the fish and barbecue or cook it under the grill to get more of a char on the outside – just remember to soak wooden skewers in water for at least 15 minutes before using, or they’ll likely burn (bamboo or metal are great alternatives).

Prep 20 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 3-4

½ tsp saffron, ground
3 tbsp thick yoghurt, such as Greek-style or Skyr
3 lemons – 2 juiced and 1 cut into wedges
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 x 240g skinless centre-cut salmon fillets, cut into 3-cm cubes (720g total)
280g cherry tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber (about 350g), diced
1 tsp ground cumin
tsp crushed red chilli flakes
30g flatleaf parsley
, leaves and stems roughly chopped
Olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
1 small red onion
, peeled and diced (about 100g)
500g baby potatoes, quartered

In a shallow bowl, grind the saffron with the back of a wooden spoon, then add a tablespoon of warm water and mix to combine. Add the yoghurt, lemon juice and a teaspoon of salt, mix again, then add the salmon, toss gently to coat in the marinade and set aside.

In a serving bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, cumin, chilli flakes, half of the parsley, onion, lime juice and two tablespoons olive oil. Season to taste then set aside.

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a cast-iron or other heavy-weight frying pan over a medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the potatoes, season with salt, stir then spread in an even layer and let sit until the bottoms are deeply browned. Continue to stir and let sit every minute or so, until lightly browned all over, for about five minutes more.

Lower the heat to medium, push to the sides creating a large space in the centre. Add the salmon cubes and cook until the bottoms are browned and the bottom third of the sides look opaque – about three minutes. Stir the potatoes and salmon together, turning, and cook until the centre is medium-rare, three to four minutes. Divide between plates, top with the remaining parsley and serve with salad and lemon wedges.

Charred lemon and mustard-parmesan chicken traybake

Yasmin Fahr’s charred lemon chicken traybake.

Yasmin Fahr’s charred lemon chicken traybake.

Cut any leftovers into small, bite-sized pieces and toss with your favourite grain for a quick salad – dress it with lemon, olive oil and a little dijon mustard to stay consistent with the flavours, and finish with plenty of fresh herbs such as parsley or coriander.

Prep 10 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 3-4

2 x 200g Tenderstem broccoli, trimmed and thick stalks cut lengthwise
1 bunch salad onions, trimmed (about 100g)
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(about 450g), cut in half lengthwise to form 4 cutlets
1½ tbsp dijon mustard
1 lemon
, halved
2 tbsp grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
1 ball mozzarella (about 125g), torn or cut into 3cm chunks

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 with a shelf in the centre and one 15cm from the grill. In a baking tray or roasting tin, coat the broccoli and onions with two tablespoons of olive oil and season; if anything still seems dry, add more oil. Move to the edges of the pan, creating a space in the centre for the chicken.

Generously season both sides of the meat with salt, pepper, one tablespoon olive oil and mustard, until it has a yellow paste-like coating all over, then arrange in the middle of the tin; nestle the lemon halves cut side up in the tin, too.

Roast on the centre shelf until the chicken is nearly cooked through and the broccoli is starting to brown, about 10 minutes. The chicken should look opaque on top; if you see any raw bits or pink-ish hues, put it back in the oven for another minute or two.

Remove from the oven and turn on the grill. Stir everything then top each chicken piece with a generous sprinkle of parmesan, and one or two pieces of mozzarella. Put any remaining cheese over the other ingredients.

Place under the grill on the top shelf until the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, one to four minutes.

Carefully squeeze the lemon halves over the chicken and vegetables (they will be hot), then divide between plates and finish with pepper and more parmesan, if desired.

Pasta with squash, parmesan and almonds

Yasmin Fahr’s pasta with squash and almonds.

Yasmin Fahr’s pasta with squash and almonds.

Tip: to prepare your own almonds, toast the nuts in a dry skillet over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown in spots, then leave to cool. Store in an airtight container and use to top salads or grain bowls.

Prep 15 min
Cook 20 min
Serves 4

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
dried spaghetti
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for the pasta
2 small garlic cloves, peeled and minced or grated (about 1 tsp)
3-4 large sprigs fresh thyme, leaves and fine stems only (about 1 tbsp)
½ tsp crushed red chilli flakes
1kg butternut squash, halved, deseeded, peeled and grated (about 500g grated)
250ml low-salt vegetable stock
150g grated parmesan
60g flaked almonds
, lightly toasted
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Fill a casserole dish or large pot with water, salt generously and bring to a vigorous boil. Add the pasta, cook for four minutes less than the package instructions, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Reserve one cup of pasta water then drain the noodles. Run through with olive oil, using tongs and a wooden spoon to toss; set aside.

Wipe the pot with paper towel, add two tablespoons oil and put over a medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, thyme and chilli flakes, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the squash, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash begins to lose its raw taste, about five minutes. Pour in the stock, adjust the heat to maintain an active simmer, stirring occasionally, until the excess liquid cooks off, about two minutes. If there are any chunks, crush with a potato masher or the back of a fork.

Add the pasta back to the pot along with the parmesan, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon to create a thick, creamy sauce, and until the noodles have an orange hue to them, two to three minutes. Season to taste. If the sauce appears dry, add one tablespoon of the reserved pasta water at a time to loosen. Divide between plates and top with the almonds and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Tomato rice with kale and chickpeas

Yasmin Fahr’s tomato rice.

Yasmin Fahr’s tomato rice.

This recipe contains trace elements of jambalaya, Mexican rice and a Persian dish that my parents used to make for me when I was little.

Prep 10 min
Cook 25 min
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium jalapeño
, seeded and diced (about 2 tbsp)
1 small red onion, peeled and diced (about 150g)
1 orange or red (bell) pepper, deseeded and diced (about 120g)
½ tsp ground cumin
tsp paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g basmati or long-grain rice
500g passata
1 bunch curly or cavolo nero kale, leaves removed from thick stems and cut into 3cm-ribbons (about 60g)
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
15g fresh coriander or flat-leaf parsley leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a casserole dish over a medium heat until shimmering. Add the jalapeño, onion, pepper, cumin, paprika and season with salt, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and become translucent, about four minutes. Stir in the rice and toast for about 30 seconds.

Pour in the passata, 500ml water and a pinch of salt, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine and scraping up anything on the bottom of the pot. Cover, raise the heat to bring to a boil, then immediately turn it down to maintain an active simmer. Cook, still covered, for 15-20 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is soft. Try not to uncover too often, so that the rice can steam, only checking occasionally to stir and make sure nothing is sticking on the bottom.

When the rice is just about done and there is still a thin layer of sauce above its surface, reduce the heat to low, then stir in the kale and chickpeas, and season to taste. Cover and cook for about three minutes more, until the kale is wilted and tender. Divide between bowls and top with coriander.

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